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(Credit: Jason Myers / Press)


T Bone Burnett unveils new analogue reproduction technology


American record producer T Bone Burnett has crafted a new medium for recorded sound. Officially dubbed Iconic Originals, the disc format was tested with the help of Bob Dylan, who used the technology to re-record some of his classic songs.

While those recordings are not currently available to the public, a press release issued by Burnett has revealed that the project is part of the producer’s attempt to “reset the valuation of recorded music”. In a statement, Brunett explained that the one-of-a-kind Iconic Originals are: “Lacquer painted onto an aluminium disc, with a spiral etched into it by music.”

The Iconic Originals project is the first major development in analogue music reproduction in over 70 years, with the last great change coming when fragile shellac phonograph discs were replaced with the polyvinyl plastic material we still use to this day

The full statement reads: “An Ionic Original is the pinnacle of recorded sound. It is archival quality. It is future proof. It is one of one. Not only is an Ionic Original the equivalent of a painting, it is a painting. It is lacquer painted onto an aluminum disc, with a spiral etched into it by music. This painting, however, has the additional quality of containing that music, which can be heard by putting a stylus into the spiral and spinning it.”

It continues: “When describing the quality that raises analogue sound above digital sound, the word “warmth” is often used. Analogue sound has more depth, more harmonic complexity, more resonance, better imaging. Analogue has more feel, more character, more touch. Digital sound is frozen. Analogue sound is alive.”

The press release confirmed that Burnett is also launching a new company called NeoFidelity, Inc., which aims to “provide a distribution platform for Iconic Originals.”